Yo Ho Ho - Happy Rum Day!
Have you noticed the rum trend? Pull off the eyepatch and take a look around. Rum is big! From a classic Pina Colada (not the crappy pre-mixed kind but a real one) to Tiki Drinks to quality sippers, rum is an ingredient no self-respecting bar can be without.
In honor of Rum Day, I am featuring a rum near and dear to my heart, Old New Orleans Rum. I first came across this rum at Tales of the Cocktail. Ben Gersh, the main dude, gave me a sample and I was hooked. (get it? pirate hoo... forget it.) I love this product, not only because it tastes to dang good but also because it represents the people of New Orleans: strong, spicy and rich in character.
Old New Orleans Rum is not only the oldest rum distillery in the United States but the onlyhave won a bunch of awards. Along with his band of bon-vivants, James Michalopolous, a celebrated New Orleans artist, founded the Celebration Distillery where Old New Orleans rum is made.
The hand crafted, small batch premium artisan blends made from only Louisiana sugar cane molasses employs their own unique distillation process, of our creation, that is part pot still and part column still. Want to know what that means? I asked Ben to explain:
“A pot still is a simpler instrument that distills a less concentrated alcohol, but with more complex flavor. A column still is a more complicated still that actually redistills many times at once and produces a more refined, higher proof alcohol.
A pot still is just as it says…a pot. It is covered, is has a tube inserted that runs to another vessel. Alcohol boils at a lower temperature then water. When the alcohol boils and vaporizes it is released through the tube into the second vessel where it condenses. And there you have your alcohol. A pot still will give you an alcohol with a very robust flavor, however leaving impurities in the alcohol.
With a column still, there is a column that acts as the vehicle for the vaporized alcohol. As the alcohol rises it condenses and settles on graduating plates that taper up the column. This creates a more pure alcohol."
If you are in NOLA, celebrate with the folks from the Celebration Distillery at Restaurant Anatole for the Celebrity Bartender Bash where each celebrity bartender will create a specialty cocktail featuring New Orleans Rum. A portion on the proceeds will be donated to Deuce McAllister's Catch 22 Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the lives of under-privileged youth and adolescents in the Gulf South Region.
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!